INSTITUTIONALIZED CHAOS INSTEAD OF INDEPENDENT LIVING. FORCED MODERNIZATION AND ASSISTANT SERVICES IN POLAND

Ewa Giermanowska, Mariola Racław, Dorota Szawarska
2020 Studia Humanistyczne (Kraków. 2003)  
Personal assistance for people with disabilities in Poland is not available as part of a comprehensive state policy; it is instead a dispersed, fragmented service based on projects. There is a lack of both a national strategy for independent living (including solutions for personal assistance as a key tool) and a plan for deinstitutionalisation of support services. A disabled person as an independent entity seems to be invisible to legislators, despite the postulates regarding "tailor-made"
more » ... g "tailor-made" services or "profiling of help" present in public discourse. At the same time, uncoordinated changes are taking place regarding support for people with disabilities, including assistance services. They are partly forced by Poland's ratification (2012) of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and partly due to grassroots social innovations of non-governmental organizations. In the article, the authors analyse the factors responsible for the current state of affairs in the context of the theory of imposed modernization, emphasizing the superficiality of institutional changes. They will refer to critical research of public policies (so-called street level bureaucracies) analysing the daily practices of public officials and the social consequences for their recipients. The limitations of the model of personal assistance services as services including disabled people in the mainstream of social life will also be discussed.
doi:10.7494/human.2020.19.3.73 fatcat:75j2wledhrct3lw4xozknogvxa